Veteran Pickering athletes hoping experience pays off in Tokyo


Published July 8, 2021 at 1:18 pm


Durham Region Olympic Profile # 5

A field hockey player with 160 senior caps for his country and a badminton player with 17 medals in eight years of Pan Am Championships will be bringing plenty of skill and veteran savvy to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Nyl Yakura, currently ranked 32nd in the world in men’s Badminton doubles, will compete in that event in Tokyo.

Yakura, a member of the national Badminton team since 2103, won gold and silver in the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru (men’s doubles and mixed doubles, respectively) and has won five gold and ten medals in all in men’s and mixed doubles in multiple Pan Am Championships. He added another seven gold in team events.

Keegan Pereira, meanwhile, has played for Canada’s national Field Hockey team since 2009, making his international debut against India – a traditional world power in the sport and also his place of birth.

Pereira has represented Canada in two Commonwealth Games and a World Cup and was part of a silver medal winning team at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

He was also in Rio five years ago and in his Olympic debut he started all five of Canada’s games, scoring one goal. It was also in 2016 that he signed a contract to play with German club Uhlenhorst Mülheim, where he has won two Bundesliga championships.

Both Badminton and Field Hockey get underway July 24.

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